Wednesday, November 19, 2014


I'm so excited!

I finally learned how to make wings!

Proper fairy wings,
and just in time for Christmas, too.

So now I'm making fairy dolls,
because fairies are for Christmas!
(At least, they are if you're British.)

Here's a close-up of the wings.

and she's about to be joined
by more fairy friends.

For a free pattern
to make your own Chloe,

Chloe's wing design came
from Karen at

This post shared with the wonderful
Ivy and Elephants,
What's It Wednesday

Friday, October 24, 2014

Halloween Party: The DIY Witch

Win Me!

Welcome to the

Hosted by Vanessa at
A Fanciful Twist

My party piece will be a pattern. 

A free doll pattern.

An easy, peasy, guaranteed doll pattern
to make a small doll, 
suitable for all social occasions.

What with this being Halloween,
I'm making a witch doll.

Not this kind of witch.
A nice witch!

A witch doll you can win in my giveaway!

Stage One


(This free doll pattern is for personal use only.)

Print this out. You won't need the bloomer pattern.
I printed this out on a standard piece 
of printer paper and it was true-to-size. 

I'm not sure if it will need adjusting for a piece of A4.

The doll will be about 11'', but if you want it smaller,
just shrink the pattern before you print it.

Off to the cutting table!

Stage Two

Cut out the pattern pieces.

Then, (and this is the unorthodox bit)
sew a strip of your chosen skin colour
to your chosen dress colour.

I'm using a tea-dyed cotton for the skin
and witchy black for the dress, 
so you can see which is witch.
(see what I did there?)

See the line of stitching in black?
When you've sewn it, open it out and iron the seam flat.

How big a piece?
You need a strip wide enough  and deep enough
 to fit the body and two arm pieces.

I got this wrong. I'm not ashamed!

So I had to sew a separate piece for the arm

Position the arm and body pattern pieces
on the wrong side of the fabric
(the side with the raw edges)
so that the hand of the arm piece 
and the neckline of the body piece
overlaps into the skin fabric,

Like this. See?

Why are we doing this?

So that when you sew the arms and the body,
you've already made the 
sleeves and bodice of the doll's clothes.

Draw around the leg pieces 
and the head pattern pieces 
onto your skin coloured fabric.

Stage Three

Sew around all the drawn edges,
leaving a gap for the stuffing.

Like this.

Sew very carefully around the chin. Smooth is good.

Stage Four

Cut out all the pieces, carefully,
about 5mm from the stitches.
When everything is cut out, snip little V shapes
around all the curved seams.

Turn each piece the right way round.

If you don't have any turning tools,
or a haemostat, this will be the 
worst part of making the doll.

I wish you luck.

Stage five

Once everything is turned the right way round, 
and you have pushed into all the corners,
the doll is ready to stuff.

So, stuff.

Here she is, all filled out.
The body, head and legs are stuffed with polyester fibre.
The arms are filled with pipe cleaners,
two for each arm, so she can pose.

She's not just a doll! 
She's an action figure!

Stage Six

You're going to join the arms and legs to the body.


Hold on to that head.


Because painting the face is the 
most worrisome part of making a doll,
and this way, you get two goes!

Stage Seven

I'm a strong believer in the appeal of simple doll faces.

This face is just two black dots,
a little crescent moon in red,
and some pink powder on the cheeks.

It's cute, right?

If you're worried about the face, 
make one like this.

Or you can try something more elaborate.

This is a detailed face,
but it's just drawn and painted with
Crayola watercolor pencils
and brushed with pastels.

You don't need any fancy equipment,
and there's lots of good face tutorials online.

Stage Eight

Adding the head.

Ok, this can be tricky.
I hoped you stuffed the neck really well.

Pin the neck to the back of the head,
(At a slight angle is best. Trust me.)

Make sure you leave enough neck,
but not so much the head is flopping.

Like this.

 Pin it. Sew it good and tight.

Now you kinda have a doll, right?

Stage Nine

The hair.

Look, I didn't take any photos for this bit.

So, magically, she now has hair.

(Basically, I wrapped some fluffy ginger yarn 
around a (clean) peanut butter jar,
sewed the top of the loop to the top of her head,
then cut the loop and fluffed out the hair.)

Totally channeling Merida. 
Stage Ten

You don't have to make stockings at all.
You could make the legs from
witchy stripped fabric
instead of your chosen skin colour.

You could paint the legs,
(yes, really)
with acrylics, sanding between each layer.

But if you want stockings,
use the leg pattern as a base.

Get an old t shirt,
and line up the leg pattern
to the height of the stocking.

Fold the fabric and sew with a zigzag stitch.
but ignore the ankle. Just keep sewing down to a point,
like a very long, slim inverted V.

Turn them right-way-round,
and hey, stockings!

Stage Eleven

Yes, we go all the way to eleven.

We also use glue.
Yes, we do.
Glue trimming,
(lace, ric-rac, ribbon)
to the top of the 'bodice'
and just above the bottom of the hips.

You can sew it.
If you wanna.

 You have to sew the skirt.
The skirt is a strip of fabric at least 15 inches long
and as wide as you want the skirt to hang.
Mini, or floor length, you decide.

(I didn't hem mine, just to keep it witchy.)
Gather the top of the skirt, and
(this is important!)
pin it to the doll upside down,
around her waist.

Upside Down. Don't forget.

Sew it firmly in place.
Turn your doll right-side-up
and fluff out her skirt.



I added doll shoes, as I just happen to have doll shoes.
I think a pair of Ken doll shoes might fit her, maybe?

If you painted stockings, you could paint on shoes, too.

Superhero Pose

The tutorial for the witch's hat is here.

She'll get her own hat.
She'll get a name, too.

From you, if you win my giveaway!

Usual giveaway rules.

Please follow my blog, 
and let me know in the comments.

Please like my facebook page
and tell me in comments. 
That gives you two entries.


I'm running a second tutorial

Join up to win one of my 

Both giveaways will be drawn on 
5th of November.

More rules.

(Imagine me saying this in a stern teacher voice.)

The free doll pattern is for personal use, only.
You can make gifts, and items for charity,
but you can't sell the pattern 
 and you can't sell dolls made from the pattern.
(I feel like such a grouch saying this.)
 © Copyright Rhissanna 2014

A Halloween Party!

It's that time again!

Time for 
A Fanciful Twist's

Yes, I will be taking part!
This is my first year as a participant.

Come back tomorrow for
fun and games and prizes!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Witches in Fiction: Crafting Blooming Howls

(This is graphic heavy)

Witches in Fiction 2014
Crafting Blooming Howls
 (which is up and running on Magaly's blog
and is full of all kinds of good things.)
I thought I'd post a timely tutorial.

How to make a teeny witch's hat, like this one,
sported by Willow Wind Moon here.

You will need the following:-


You can add to this,
buttons or beads or bells
tiny ribbons, little roses
bats, skulls, bows

First, measure how TALL you want the hat to be.

 Mark that distance along the top and 
down one side of your piece of felt
and cut out a curve to make a cone shape.


Like this

Cut a piece of stiff lace twice as long as the curved edge

Gather the lace along the top edge.
(Even if it's already ruffled, it will still need gathering)

Pin the lace to the curved edge, making sure
the lace is pointing up towards the top of the cone.

Like this.

See  how the lace is pointing towards the tip of the cone?

Pin it! Pin it! 

Whip stitch the lace to the curved edge.

Sew the two ends of the curved edge together.

Then, sew up the open seam.

You can either oversew it, or use cross stitch.

Join the two edges of the lace.

It will now open out and form the brim of the hat.

Add pretty things. 

Or scary ones.

Or both.

You can now make anything into a witch.

This bartlett pear, for instance.

Or a disdainful doll.

(This is WIP Roseblood, 
and thank you, Magaly, for the use of the name.)

If you find this tutorial helpful in any way
and make a witch's hat, I'd love to see pictures!

!!! GIVEAWAY !!!

To celebrate Witches in Fiction 2014 and the release of Blooming Howls,
I'm offering this Gloomy Tea Set and Red Witch's Hat

To take part, please follow my blog!

For a second entry please
(I know, I sound so needy)
and mention that in a comment.

The Gloomy Tea Set is available
in my Etsy Shop

Meanwhile, hop over to
is now in action.

My good friend Gina made some hats.
Hers are fab, with extra lace!